Tally clerks must remain at ports, MWUN tells NPA

President General, MWUN, Mr Tony Nted

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Thursday said that it would not accept any decision by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to replace tally clerks with cargo surveyors at the ports.

President of the MWUN, Mr Tony Nted, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Nted said that while the tally clerks checked to ensure appropriate declaration of cargo at the ports to prevent avenues for revenue leakages, the cargo surveyor’s job was mainly to settle discrepancies when they arose.

He said it was, therefore, wrong for anybody to think of removing tally clerks from the ports, adding that the presence of the tally clerks prevented a lot of sharp practices at the ports.

“The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for whatever reason brought in what they call ‘cargo surveyors’.
“As the name implies, cargo surveyor is a person who goes to the vessel and if they have any discrepancy, they measure the type of cargo they brought in.

“We do not know how NPA translates cargo surveyor to be the person that will do physical tally on-board the vessel.

“Why we say tally clerks should remain is because of the sharp practices of the shipping companies and even the terminal operators, ‘’ Nted said.

Speaking on non-payment of dockworkers salaries, including the tally clerks and the on-board security men, Nted confirmed that some of the workers were yet to be paid.

He, however, said the union would not accept that the terminal operators should be in charge of payment of the dockworkers, to avoid compromise.

“The tally clerks in the port are just like the Police. If a policeman walks into a place, everybody will begin to wonder why the policemen came there and they will be scared.

“Terminal operators and the shipping companies are afraid because they know that tally clerks serve as watchdogs to the Federal Government– to know what is going on.

“So, they are afraid. If tally clerks work under the terminal operators, then the security of the port, the cargo brought into the port and the revenue will dwindle,’’ he said.

Nted said the union held on to its argument that the tally clerks and on board security must be paid as and when due.

He said the NPA should come and tell the whole world if it had any reason why it could not pay the dockworkers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dockworkers had on several occasions threatened to embark on strike, to demand for their salaries, the last of such demands was on Aug. 7.
On those occasions, the workers shelved their planned strike, based on the promise by the NPA to pay their salaries soon.